In today’s increasingly technology-savvy and -reliant society, online marketing has become a must-have for all businesses who want to make a name for themselves. Marketing your business online is one of the best ways to ensure it will get worldwide visibility, since the internet allows you to share things with people from all over the world.
In today’s guide, we’re going to delve into the topic of digital marketing. Here’s what you should expect to read about:
- Why you need online marketing;
- Examples of online marketing done right;
- Tips for developing an online marketing strategy;
- An online marketing worksheet to get you started.
Online Marketing for Business: How to Achieve Success Online
#Why Do You Need Online Marketing?
1. You Have the Freedom to Customize Your Strategy
Unlike more traditional types of marketing, the online market provides business owners with extensive marketing options. For instance, you can use the internet to scan through the preferences and buying history of you customers, so that you know how to persuade them to buy from you. You can personalize your offers, target specific groups at different times, and use many other online marketing strategies that offer the chance to appeal to customers individually.
2. You Can Use Social Media
Out of the many benefits of online marketing, the fact that you can use social media to grow your business is definitely at the top of the list. By creating accounts for your business on all the major social media platforms, you’ll provide your brand with increased visibility. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to relate to customers on a deeper level, communicate with them, answer their questions, and so on. Even if this doesn’t directly increase your revenue, social networks do influence people’s decision to purchase things. As a result, a positive social media image will ultimately help your business.
3. You Can Reach a Lot of People
Another relevant reason for using online business marketing is its ability to reach a large number of people. There is no other type of marketing that can reach as many people as this one. Not only can you advertise your products worldwide, but you can also sell them all over the world. Basically, geographical location is no longer a barrier.
4. You Can Create an Online Community
If you manage to build a community around your brand, you’re one step closer to ensuring a successful business trajectory. There are many ways in which you can make people feel like they’re part of a community. You can send follow up emails, check in regularly with special offers, or ask them to review your products and services.
5. You Save Money
Not only are digital marketing services extremely valuable for the success of a business, but they’re also inexpensive. Imagine how much money you’d have to pay for a brick and mortar store vs. how much money you’d pay for selling and marketing your products online. The difference is huge, which is why so many people prefer online marketing.
5 Companies Doing Online Marketing Right to Use as Inspiration
Bentley is one of the most renowned car manufacturers in the world, and with good reason. For instance, if you visit their website, you get to take a virtual road trip around the world. You can choose among 7 locations and various Bentley cars to use for the road. The website provides you with descriptions of all the places you go through, and aims to show you how a journey in a Bentley might look like.
Another example of Bentley’s amazing digital marketing strategy is the Bentley Inspirator app. This app uses software that recognizes emotion and then suggests the most appropriate Bentley car for the occasion. They also have a campaign called “Look Closer” that uses the same space exploration technology as NASA to provide customers with extremely precise and clear images.
2. Famous Smoke Shop
Famous Smoke Shop is a cigar retailer that sells its products online. In order to get more people interested in their brand, they created a cigar and spirit pairings guide which is both informative and humorous. Visitors get to select a type of beverage and its price tag, and then choose the occasion. The site will provide them with a cigar that works perfectly with their choices. The company also included a call-to-action, which encourages visitors to purchase the respective cigar.
This Seattle-based fashion retailer found a way to make its website more interesting by creating a guide on how to buy a suit. Whenever a customer visits the men’s suit page, he gets to find out what the perfect suit for him is. Not only that, but he also receives a couple of suggestions of suits that fit his style. This personalized shopping list helps Nordstrom sell more suits, without seeming too forward.
4. Duck Brand
There aren’t many ways to make duct tape interesting, but Duck Brand seems to have found one of them. Their website is all about creativity. Creative DIYs, how-to articles, projects, and video tutorials are the main highlights of this website. Another highlight would be their encouragement of adventure. For example, they sent two people to six different destinations in a Volkswagen bus. Then, they followed their adventure and posted video chronicles and stories that are definitely worth watching.
Perhaps an obvious choice, Starbucks couldn’t be excluded from this list. The company excels at using online marketing, and there are many examples to support this claim. For instance, it’s already been 8 years since they started allowing people to pay through their Starbucks app. Its online communications skills are also to be taken as an example of great digital marketing. Moreover, small tools and campaigns such as “Tweetacoffee” really show how much they value details.
7 Tips for Developing Your Own Online Marketing Strategy
1. Invest in Quality Content
One of the most important things a business owner who wants to develop his or her startup should focus on is quality content. It’s not about how much content you have or how often you post. These two things become insignificant in the face of the quality of your content. The content should be informative, easy to read, entertaining (if the subject allows it), and motivate people to look more into your brand.
2. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
More and more people are visiting websites from their smartphones. If the website isn’t mobile-friendly, most of them won’t give it a second look. Remember that it’s all about user experience. Providing people with a positive mobile experience will increase the chances of them browsing your website longer and maybe end up buying something as well.
3. Include a Group Buying Option
A great way to gain more customers is to offer deals for people who buy in groups. For instance, if three friends decide to buy different things from your website together, you should provide them with a discount, a coupon code, or some other type of reward. Advertise this option on your website and people will be more likely to decide on a purchase if they know they can do it with a friend.
4. Partner Up with Other Companies
This strategy is called affiliate marketing. You have to look for businesses that would want to advertise your brand. Then, ensure them you’ll provide them with a part of the profits you’ll make as a result of their marketing efforts. This is a great online marketing strategy, because it takes part of the advertising responsibility off your hands. That way, you can focus on other aspects as well, so that it doesn’t seem like all you’re after is trying to sell your products.
5. Create Online Videos
Videos are a great way to capture the audience’s attention. They’re dynamic, visually pleasing, colorful, and they can say a lot in just a couple of seconds. Speaking of duration, you shouldn’t create long videos, since most people don’t have the time to watch them. A short 1 minute clip is enough to make a lasting impression. You can share the clip on your website and social media profiles, or you can create a YouTube channel for your business and post videos periodically.
6. Create an Instagram Account
If in the past, Instagram was more of a platform where people could share pictures with their friends and followers, nowadays, businesses are discovering the advantages of posting on Instagram as well. However, it’s not enough for you to create an account and share any picture. You have to make sure the picture is Instagram worthy and use hashtags to get more people to see it. If used properly, Instagram is a great way to promote your business online.
7. Capitalize on What Makes You Different
The last tip that will help you develop your online marketing strategy relates to how you present yourself to your audience. While it’s great to talk about what you can offer and how that can help customers, it’s also important to show in what way your company differs from the competition. What can you give to your clients that no one else can?
#Online Marketing Worksheet
In this last section of today’s guide, we’ll provide a brief online marketing worksheet that can help you get started with online marketing.
The first section of any online marketing worksheet should be related to business strategy. This section should include information about the goal(s) you have. Furthermore, you’ll have to establish where most of your customers are in the world, whether they’re local customers or global. Then, we also recommend including a section related to how they found your business, either by referrals, presentations, phone calls, advertisements, billboards, and so on.
The next step is to identify the websites your customers visit most frequently, because they’re going to tell you more about their online habits. This includes everything from search engines, to social media sites, shopping sites, and others. Then, identify the resources you have that you can use to build your business, like special offers, landing pages, online videos, and other such tools. Also, establish the online marketing tactics you want to use and that you think would meet your business needs. Finally, and this section is entirely optional, you could find a business that you follow and look up to, and write down what it is they’re doing right and what you can learn from them.
As we’ve already mentioned, the quality of the content you put out is extremely important. In order to craft an ad or a piece of text that will capture the audience’s attention, there are three things you need to consider:
- The reason why customers choose you over the competition;
- The behavior you expect of people who find your business online;
- The online specials you can offer.
Keeping all these things in mind, crafting a piece of text or an ad should be easier. Remember to use a catchy headline and also include a call to action at the very end. This is going to encourage people to become your customers.
The last section of this worksheet includes specifics such as how many people are going to manage your online marketing efforts (and who these people are). Don’t forget to also include the exact sum of money you’re willing to spend on online marketing each month. Then, prepare a list of exact actions you’re going to take in the next couple of months, what is the platform for these actions, and how frequently you’re going to use them. The final section should also include a list of metrics you’ll use to measure success, as well as what your goals for each of them are.
Summing Everything Up
Online marketing is one of the most effective types of marketing in today’s business world. Whether you sell your products online or you simple advertise your brand using online marketing, it’s almost impossible to do business without relying on digital platforms and strategies. And who would want to when this is one of the most affordable ways of marketing a business? We hope that whether you’re a beginner or you’ve used online marketing in the past, today’s guide will help you reach success online.